Alimentum is the brand name of the Expert Care line of baby formula from Similac. If your baby has a corn allergy, you should know some Alimentum products contain corn-based ingredients. Some corn-based ingredients, including corn oil, corn syrup and corn starch, do not aggravate children with a corn allergy because the most common allergen in corn is a protein. The aforementioned ingredients are 99.5 percent protein-free, according to information from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. However, parents of infants with allergies should discuss the specifics of their child’s diet with a medical professional.
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Alimentum has a special formula designed for a baby with colic or an allergy to milk and soy protein. Information from Similac claims the Alimentum formula begins to reduce colic symptoms within 24 hours for most babies, citing as evidence an unpublished study by Abbot Nutrition in Ohio, Similac’s parent company. Alimentum comes as a powder you mix with water and a ready-to-feed liquid.
Ready to feed Alimentum does not contain corn-based ingredients, according to information from Drugs.com. However, Alimentum powder contains 35 percent corn maltodextrin and may aggravate a corn allergy in a minority of patients, says Vivian Hernandez-Trujillo, M.D., from the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology. Many major brands of baby formula contain corn-based ingredients, such as corn syrup solids and modified cornstarch, as a source of calories. Alimentum uses sucrose and modified tapioca starch instead. If your infant has a corn allergy and other food sensitivities, discuss which formula is best with your doctor.
Prevalence of Soy and Milk Allergy
At 12 months, between 2.2 and 2.8 percent of babies have an allergy to cow’s milk and an estimated 0.4 percent of young children have an allergy to soy, according to a study from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York published in the April 2011 issue of Pediatric Clinics of North America. The protein Similac uses in Alimentum is casein hydrolysate, which is derived from milk.
Safety of Casein Hydrolysate
Although casein hydrolysate comes from milk, it does not cause an allergic reaction when consumed as infant formula, according to a study from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine published in the April 1991 issue of the Journal of Pediatrics. In the study, 25 children with a proven reaction to cow’s milk consumed reconstituted powdered cow milk, casein hydrolysate formula or placebo. The casein hydrolysate group had no reaction to the formula and the researchers concluded it is generally safe for children with hypersensitivity to cow's milk.